Cebu tour guide tourist spots best places to visit

Cebu Cheat Sheet for First-Time Visitors

Cebu: There are a lot of things that come to mind when you hear this place, but the most obvious is that its capital—Cebu City—is named the “Queen City of the South.” The island-province is also a very popular tourist destination both for foreigners and Filipinos, while Cebu is a city that continues to prosper economically with plenty of new real estate projects and developments to watch out for.

Apart from the fact that it is home to very friendly and happy people, Cebu offers a lot of activities that travelers with various interests can truly appreciate and enjoy. The city and the eponymous island-province it belongs to are well known for their pristine white sand beaches, museums, churches, scenic views, sporting activities, and colorful festivals like Sinulog. Likewise, it has also made the list as one of the best places for foodies to visit and among their most popular fares include lechon, dried mangoes, danggit, sutukil, otap, and chicharon.

With all these in mind, as a first-time visitor traveling to the Queen City, you would like to maximize your budget to enjoy and experience everything as much as you can. Expenses can also vary as to which places you’d like to visit and which time of the year you’re planning to go. Here’s a cheat sheet that will definitely help give you some ideas on how to plan your trip:

Getting There

The best time to go to Cebu is between September to February when the weather is pleasant. March to May can be very hot and humid, while June to August can mean heavy downpours and the occasional typhoon that can limit some good destinations due to the weather condition.

Travel options going to Cebu can mean a lot on your budget and planning ahead will really help you save money. There are travel agencies that offer affordable tour packages that you can choose from. You can check the itinerary, hotel accommodation, tours, and activities that are included in the package and compare them. However, if you’re the type of person who’s adventurous and would like create your own itinerary and do random things on your own, you can choose to travel by air or by sea. Traveling by air means that you have to be wise by eyeing for cheap seats, and watch out for seat sale offers that happen year round. A cheaper alternative is to sail by sea via 2GO ferry boat, and check for schedules and rates.

Budget Hotels

If you’re not opting for a package tour, the safest and surest way before going on your first trip to Cebu is to book for your hotel accommodation ahead of time. The best way to go is to search online and check for travel bloggers’ recommendations. It is always good to learn a few tips and tricks from others who have already been to the island. Likewise, if you’re unsure and you cannot make a booking online, keep at least top three of your hotel choices and their respective addresses. You may also ask local residents upon your arrival; however, remember that your time of stay is limited, so it is still best to arrive and know exactly where you’re going to stay.

City Tour or Day Tour

So you’ve arrived in Cebu, now what? Don’t let the confusion get in the way and surely you already did some of your homework before you even arrived. First things first, you have to know the place first and appreciate its rich history, and doing a city tour should be a great way to start. Different modes of public transportation are available: taxi, Grab, MyBus, Cebu City buses, private cars for hire or motorbikes for hire, and jeepneys/multicabs.

You can choose from most popular walking tours and must-see attractions that you can visit in Cebu:

  • Sirao Peak and Flower Farm
  • Temple of Leah
  • Cebu Taoist Temple
  • Tops Skyline Garden
  • Plaza Independencia
  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Basilica Minore del Sto Niño
  • Fort San Pedro
  • Parian Monument via Colon Street
  • Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Museum
  • Plaza Hamabar (Rajah Humabon Monument)
  • Heritage of Cebu Monument
  • Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
  • Casa Gorordo Museum
  • Museo Sugbo
  • Magellan’s Marker
  • Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Punta Engano

Island Hopping, White Beach Resorts, and Waterfalls

Your trip in Cebu will not be complete if you don’t experience the splendor of the island-province’s white-sand beaches and world-class diving sites. You can do some island hopping, snorkeling, and diving when you visit the islands of Camotes, Bantayan, Malapascua, Mactan, Sumilon, and Moalboal. You may also visit Oslob and swim with whale sharks. If you’d like to go canyoneering, then you can either proceed to Kawasan Falls in the town of Badian or go to Kanlaob River in Alegria. However, if you are really up for the challenge of chasing waterfalls, the best places to go is down south in Samboan and Ginatilan where you will find Tumalog Falls, Aguinid Falls, Dao Falls, Candayvic Falls, and Binalayan Hidden Falls.

GoPro Cliff Jumping Selfie – Kawasan Falls Level 3 Canyoneering from Cebu Wanderlust on Vimeo.

For first-time visitors, the places to see and the things to do seem endless. With the island-province’s rich history and traditions now fused with the new and modern way of life, Cebu will never lose its charm. We can all get lost in the beauty and natural wonders of this island-province.

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